The Search

Of everything
There is so much more than a name
There is so much more than an age
There is so much more than what you see
There is so much more beyond me


Saturday, January 30, 2010

more crossings.....

And the last two items can now be marked done and crossed off the list....
preparations for the trip and the trip....

We arrived at my doctor's town today, the travel was good. The window between storms opened just enough to give us dry roads and clear skies. Though it's really cold we didn't have to deal with wind or snow....

The camper is snuggled in the rv park, leveled, hooked up to water, sewer, elect. and propane for heat, and the furnace is running... We have everything we need and just anxiously await the big day......

Monday I go thru the registration process and pick up my admittance packet......Tuesday I meet the doctor in his office to go over details of the surgery.......and Wednesday is cutting day! I shall be walking (if not running) the halls that afternoon, and am already practicing my "let me outta here" speech to be presented on Wednesday evening or Thursday morning......

"Sweet thang" tells me he won't let me keep the computer in the hospital room over night because he doesn't think I would get the sleep I might need for playing on it, but he'll bring it to me for awhile on Wed. when I wake up. I'll make sure to let you all know I'm still able to write. While I'm sleeping and the dr. is practicing his knife skills, "sweet thang" is under orders to get the wine chilled so we can celebrate when I get back to the camper..... Who needs drugs if there's a good bottle of merlot waiting.......

Thank you all for your prayers and support and encouragement... with that and the vision of walking without pain, my attitude is in great shape.

There is so much more to come! They're throwing me another vine and tarzan isn't about to miss it......... I'll update more later when I've got it in hand.....


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sifting through the ashes......

The doctor’s nurse called…… they need a written release from my heart doctor, so I’m working on getting that. Within a two week time frame before surgery, (any time after the 20th of this month) they need a full blood panel test and a chest x-ray. I’ll be getting those done at the end of this week.. Those results will be faxed to his office.


And on it goes……just basic things that have to be done in order to start rebuilding me…… Feb. 3rd is still the target date for step number one……


I first met “EP” on a cancer forum over the internet a few years ago when he wrote a poem about “Restoration”….. He had survived a horrendous bout with cancer which almost claimed his life, and was currently in the process of trying to rebuild himself and find a way when our paths crossed……At that point, I too was struggling to come to grips with my cancer diagnosis and I closely related to what he was saying.


I have come to love the word “restoration”…..A beautiful word, simple, but one which holds so much meaning. It allows me to envision the process I am going through, and I will forever be indebted to him, both for his tenacity in reconstruction, his showing me the true meaning of that word, and for his talent in writing.


No less than Phoenix rising from the ashes, we are rebuilding our bodies and lives, but it must be done layer by layer, starting with sifting through the ashes, examining each tiny fleck of dust or cell that caused us to crumble in the first place…


At that time, I was still able to walk and sure that I could find a way to deal with my back problems while also learning to deal with my cancer, only I found that my cancer was over shadowing everything else in my life….. Not the pain so much, but the importance of the pain. Therefore, I had a lot of “head restoration” to go thru before I could even begin to start on my “physical restoration”.


The head work is ongoing….. Just when I think I have one thing figured out, up pop’s another one with a new challenge…. And it continues, and that is a good thing. During the year following my cancer diagnosis I did a lot of thinking about my own mortality, and my strengths, and I believe that prepared me for successfully dealing with the heart attack…..


Now it’s almost like starting at the bottom again… a return to the back and leg problems, getting those repaired as best I can which will enable me to continue the rest of the restoration process. Once the back/legs are rebuilt, then I can go on to the next project….more ashes to sift through.


Restoration in any form is not easy, but as with any project starting with a strong basic foundation is imperative. Starting at the bottom......

preparing my mind done and crossed off the list,

diagnosis and MRI done and crossed off the list,

A plan with the doctor done and crossed off the list,

A date set done and crossed off the list,

registration for the hospital done and crossed off the list,

visiting with the doctor’s nurse concerning time lines done and crossed off the list,

the right attitude done and crossed off the list,

the blood work, and the x-rays, done and crossed off the list

the preparations to go out of state, and the trip

still needing work, but the diagrams and orders are in front of me…..


Ashes upon ashes and soon I will be rising….. layer by layer, the process of restoration, until I am whole again…




Monday, January 11, 2010

THE DR. CALLED!......

Ah.....Sweet relief indeed......


The doctor called, he received my reports.....had studied them, ask a lot of questions, then told me that he is pretty sure L4-L5 is what is causing me most of my problems.


He also believes that the simple
"x-stop" procedure will give me the relief I need to be able to walk without such extreme pain.


I am tentatively scheduled for surgery on Feb. 3rd..... I will travel on Feb. 1st, and check in to the hospital Feb. 2nd so I can do pre-op stuff that night, then he'll do the surgery on Wednesday Feb. 3rd, and I'll probably get to go home on Friday the 5th. This isn't set in stone yet because he wants to visit with the heart dr., and he needs to send me some papers to sign and stuff.........


Knowing doctors and hospitals I will not be surprised if all this changes..... If surgery is delayed a week, so be it..... I will do what I have to do. At least I have hope that I can walk again..... Thank you God! I will keep you updated on any further information, but for now I feel a ton of relief already...


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

My Copy.....

I received a copy of the radiologist report and the MRI disc in the mail today (1-6-10). Since I'm not a doctor, I can only guess what his assessment will be, but from what the report says....... L4-L5 is still a mess with some nerve involvement. (L5-S1 "demonstrating complete loss of disc height and hydration, with endplate sclerosis and bulging). There also seems to be some new bulging at L2-3 which was not present in '06.


????? Your guess is as good as mine, but at least it shows something so I know I'm not losing my mind..... I seem to always question that possibility! :)


Now I just have to wait and see what the dr. says when he gets the report..... I'm still maintaining hope that the simple x-stop will take care of it........ I should hear from the dr. by Friday or next week and we'll go from there......


Stay tuned*******


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Phone Call.......

I called the doctor this morning, he has NOT received the report..... He suggested I call the radiology dept. at the hospital and give them his home address to send it to, in case it had been lost at his end at that hospital.


I called our hospital, the lady said it had not been sent yet because orders to send it out of state was not written on that exact piece of paper which held the original order.....sigh~~~ I gave them the address the dr. had given me. Bottom line, a copy of the MRI disc, the earlier x-ray, and the radiologist's report will be mailed out today from this hospital to his hospital.


I called the dr. back to tell him to be watching for it and double checked the address he had given me. He said he would call me as soon as he receives it and we'll get the ball rolling.....


SO - I'm still waiting, but now with hope that by the end of the week I'll have some answers.

**************

As the patient, working from the middle between two different hospitals and states is a difficult thing to do. A lot of cancer patients have to deal with situations like this all the time when they are required to travel long distances for specialized treatments. In my case, this doctor is the only one I would trust to do surgery if that's what he deems necessary, so when he moved out of State to another hospital, I made the decision that I would go there when the time came. Other than my frustrations with the bureaucracy of it all, I believe it's worth the time and trouble.


Monday, January 4, 2010

As the rest of the world "Resolutes"......

Here I sit.


January 4th, the first working day of 2010, and what am I doing? Waiting.


Waiting…..aruugh!


Waiting on the phone to ring!


I am totally in limbo……..Since this is the real beginning of my resolution (made last year) to get me healthy, one would think I’d be working at it, but no…… I’m sitting here waiting. While the rest of the world is starting on their new year’s resolutions of getting in better physical condition, and exercising in some form, maybe on their way to the gym, or out for a walk……I’m just sitting here waiting……


After nearly 4 years of “pushing through the pain”, I am convinced that I can’t do it any longer, nor that it did any good when I did make the effort! In all honesty, I think I’ve given up, so I’m just waiting…..


I’m waiting on the phone call from my orthopedic doctor to see if he has received the MRI results, taken on 12/28/09. With the holiday and the U.S. snail mail, I am guessing it may be today before the reports even reach his office. How long it will take him to study the information and develop a plan of action for me, is anyone’s guess. He has my number.


I am convinced that with my past attempts to handle it on my own, I only did more damage to my otherwise unstable back, so I’m not going to do anything else until I hear from him.


So here I sit……..waiting.


There are hundreds of questions running through my mind….. Is my back worse than it was a year ago? I think it is, but the pictures need to confirm that in order to provide the doctor guidance. If it is worse, can he still do the more simple surgery or will it require something more? If it does call for something more complex, how much more? Will my heart withstand what could be ahead? Can the stenosis, disc’s, nerves, etc. be fixed at all? Will I get total relief from the pain or just partial relief?


I cannot demand the doctor to move too quickly, this is my spine we’re talking about and I want him to be sure of what he’s doing. “Hey Doc, take all the time you need, but don’t take too long, ok?”


The sermon in Church yesterday was based around Matthew 6: 25-31 “Do not be anxious about your life.” I do realize that things happen in God’s time, not mine, but that does not make the waiting any easier. I sincerely believe that I have done everything He would have wanted me to do, so now it’s totally is His and the doctor’s hands. I just wish they’d hurry.


And in the mean time, all I can do is wait for their decision……


And Practice Patience.....


And wait.........


With any luck at all, I’ll catch up with the rest of you soon…..



Friday, January 1, 2010


And the new day IS different!


An awakening of joy!


May we grasp every little moment of it to appreciate it’s beauty and love of life.


May it bring rays of strength


Shining as brightly as the sun, and may those rays burn through the challenges before us as we continue our search for so much more…..